Chardy at least held his serve to get on the board but the damage had been done. Coric claimed the opener in 36 minutes on the back of Chardy’s 16 unforced errors and poor first serve percentage.
To the delight of the partisan crowd, the second set was evenly contested. Chardy carved out two break points midway through the set but could not convert.
He then coughed up a couple on his own serve but Coric failed to take advantage. However the world number 12 was less munificent when Chardy was trying to take a 6-5 lead.
Coric thrashed down four big first serves to take the second 7-5 and a grip on the tie after 94 minutes.
Once he broke to lead 2-1 in the third, it was simply a question of whether the Croatian would crack. Mentally he displayed few signs but when he went off for an off-court medical time-out, there was suggestion his body would betray him.
He returned to the fray and if there were few signs of impending meltdown as he held on to pocket the set 6-4 and with it Croatia’s first point in the 2018 final.